Archive for August, 2014

#CreativeFriday – Creating Bump/Normal maps in Photoshop CC 2014 from any image.

One of the new features in the 2014 release of Photoshop CC is the ability to create a bump or normal map from any image.

There are two new menu items in this version of Photoshop available on the tool bar menu, Filter / 3D.

  • Generate Bump Map
  • Generate Normal Map

What’s a Bump Map

Bump mapping is a technique in computer graphics for simulating bumps and wrinkles on the surface of an object.

What’s a Normal Map

Normal mapping used to re-detail simplified meshes. Normal mapping, or “Dot3 bump mapping”, is a technique used for faking the lighting of bumps and dents – an implementation of Bump mapping. It is used to add details without using more polygons.

To Generate a Bump Map

. Open a JPG in Photoshop (if another file, just flatten it)

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 20.10.50

. Select menu option Filter / 3D / Generate Bump Map.

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 20.10.50


. the image will turn into a gray scale image.

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 20.11.03

. Now save this image on the desktop (in the example below i’ve called it Bump.jpg).

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 20.11.03

. Now revert the menu option so that you end up with the original file.

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 20.10.50

. Create a 3D Extrusion from the image, Menu option 3D/ New 3D Extrusion from Layer

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 20.11.41

. Once this happens the image will become the font face of the 3D object. To select the object make sure you have the move tool selected ‘V’ key and click on the 3D object. At this point you should see the navigation options of the cage. Also, open the 3D window as well (as shown below), the 3D window will show the structure of the 3D object, and provide easy access to all faces.

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 20.11.51

. Click on the Front inflation property (marked yellow) inside the 3D window.

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 20.11.54

. Open the properties window and navigate to the Bump slider (marked in red below), then click on the bump map texture loader icon (marked in yellow). This will load the previous generated Bump map into the 3D model.

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 20.12.13

. Choose load texture and point it to the bump map that you created earlier.

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 20.12.13

This will load the bump map into the bump map channel of the front face of the 3D object.

. Once the file is loaded, you can increase the strength of the bump to show the bump map releif (shown in red). To show the effect i have just used the rotation and dolly navigation tools (marked yellow), to zoom in and rotate the object.

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 20.13.11

You can do the same with Normal maps using the Generate Normal Map option from the Filter / 3D menu.


Related posts

#CreativeFriday – Photoshop 2014.1 update

Scott Kelby is back in London with a new training seminar – ‘Shoot Like a Pro’


The Scott Kelby “Shoot Like a Pro” Seminar is coming to London and will be hosted at the Conference Centre Westminster. It opens at 9am and starts at 10am and goes onto 5pm. If last time was anything to go by, it’ll be amazing and well worth the money.


Full details

When: Friday, 10, October
Time: Doors open 9am, begins 10am – ends 5pm
Where: Conference Centre Westminster
Tickets: Only 99£ at
Why: Because I love Swingin’ London baby, yeah!

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 13.04.24

Conference Centre Westminster
Dean’s Yard
London SW1P 3NZ
United Kingdom
Room: Assembly Hall
NOTE : If you sign up now, you get Scott’s “Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it” full tour (recorded live on location as it happened) as a digital download.

For more details, or to sign up (seating is limited), click right here:

Photoshop nominated for a London 3D Printshow Global Award – Best Professional Software

Hi All.

Photoshop has been nominated for a 3D Printshow Global Award in the Best Professional Software category at this year’s 3D Printshow in London. The voting is public on the 3D printshow web site. Please go to the following site to cast your votes:

Please pass this message around…it would be awesome if Photoshop could win this prestigious award!!



#CreativeFriday – Using a GPX log for waypoints and routes in the Lightroom Map Module

As we already know using GPS data can be extremely handy. GPS receivers for the camera typically take the GPS data of the location of where the picture was taken and embeds it into the EXIF data of the picture. When Lightroom reads this EXIF data it’s able to then find out where in the world the image was taken by referencing the GPS data by using the google map service.

Some of the more comprehensive devices also contain waypoint and track information as well. Once this additional data has been recorded then Lightroom can be used to show the route and where the pictures were taken.

Let us take these examples, they were taken from my iPhone’s camera then automatically imported into Lightroom mobile


At the same time I had a GPX logger running as well



Lightroom on the iPhone was then used to transfer the pictures back to Lightroom on the desktop.

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 11.22.10

These pictures were taken randomly whilst walking through a town centre one evening, but demonstrates the use of the track log quite well.

The GPX track logger was started just before the first picture was taken and stopped just after the last picture was taken. What’s important here (although can be fixed later), is the matching up of the date /time of the camera as well as the date/time of the GPX/GPS receiver (if they are separate).

To get the GPX data in this case, I used drop box, but some applications like this use email. Other hardware devices may use a different mechanism.  You will need to work out the best way of getting the GPS data to your computer.

Once in Lightroom on the desktop, move to the Map module. The images are selected in Lightroom (using either the film strip or the collections) and the Map will take the GPS data from them and place the pictures on the Map (the yellow markers shown below are the representation of the pictures).

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 13.36.09

Clicking on each picture will show a thumbnail of the image.

With the GPX data ready, click on the tracklog button (marked in red below). The load track log fly out menu will appear, select this, and select the GPX track log data. If there is no bar at the bottom of the screen, then press the ‘T’ key for it to be turned on.

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 13.36.09

Once the tracklog has been loaded, the images will be connected together by a line, this shows the route taken.

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 14.33.56

Related Posts –

#CreativeFriday – Notes from the field, editing and travelling with Lightroom 5

Designers Fiesta – London, 12th September

September 12th marks they day for the London Designers Fiesta. It’s looking like a ‘not to miss’ type of event with loads of amazing talks on the agenda. You can take a more detailed look by hoping over to the web site.

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Adobe will be there to talk with you, but also talking about 3D in Photoshop CC, as well as It’s mobile story. If you come along, come and say hello and get to know the crew.


#CreativeFriday – Photoshop 2014.1 update

The Photoshop CC 2014.1 update has now been released. This post will walk you through the enhancements that have been made in this release.

Most of the enhancements to the 2014.1 release of Photoshop CC are in the 3D module, and mostly address workflow, 3D printer support and better navigation for 3D painting.

The move tool (accessed using the V key), allows you to navigate and work with a 3D model/layer. You have been always been able to use the navigation tools on the top tool bar, but the new navigation tools (marked red) are more intuative and easier to move the model around, especially when using the paint brush.

When the brush tool (B key), is selected the navigation tools were not available, therefore when the model needed to be moved around you needed to goto the move tool, then move the model with the navigation tools in the tool bar (as defined above), then back to the brush mode.

In this version of Photoshop CC, you can now move the model directly within the brush tool by using the navigation tools (marked red).


I have taken a video of the above to explain how this works, you can watch it here.

What else has been added to the 2014.1 release ?
When working with the brush tool (pink),  painting in 3D the painting properties panel (yellow), now includes the unlit mode (red), to make it easier to turn on and off when painting. Painting in unlit mode will also increase painting performance.
However, when you are painting on the model in unlit mode you may not be able to see the geometry or the mesh. If need be, you can turn on lines or points by using the “scene” tab of the properties panel (yellow), (this option is also available on the 3D menu under scene). The lines (red) and points (purple) can be now be turned on and selected (see below). Each option has a style selector that you can configure if required.
If needed you can change the colour (the lines are now blue in the following example), this can be acheived by clicking on the colour box marked yellow below.
Photoshop CC 2014 now supports additional 3D formats for input :-
PLY is a computer file format known as the Polygon File Format or the Stanford Triangle Format
The format was principally designed to store three-dimensional data from 3D scanners. It supports a relatively simple        description of a single object as a list of nominally flat polygons. A variety of properties can be stored including: color and transparency, surface normals, texture coordinates and data confidence values. The format permits one to have different properties for the front and back of a polygon.

VRML is a format where, for example, vertices and edges for a 3D polygon can be specified along with the surface colour, UV mapped texturesshininess and transparency.


The U3D format was defined by a special consortium called 3D Industry Forum that brought together companies including IntelBoeingHPAdobe SystemsBentley SystemsRight Hemisphere and others whose main focus had been the promotional development of 3D graphics for use in various industries, specifically at this time manufacturing as well as construction and industrial plant design. The format was later standardized by Ecma International in August 2005 as ECMA-363.

The format is natively supported by the PDF format and 3D objects in U3D format can be inserted into PDF documents and interactively visualized by Acrobat Reader (since version 7).

(Formats defined from Wikipedia).
We also support new formats for 3D export. To export a 3D layer, right click on the 3D layer and choose Export 3D Layer. Once this option is selected, the 3D formats are available, including the new U3D and VRML.
The Makerbot 5 is now also supported in this release and can be found under the local print settings. The 3D print properties are marked in yellow. The Makerbot 5 is available in the drop down list (marked red).
Once selected and the print button has been selected the preview will be shown. When printing with any of the makerbot’s you don’t need a raft, so this has been turned off on the example below. But to ensure this the model must have no gaps between the base and the model.
There are now two preview modes, the original preview and the ray trace mode (the example below is the standard preview).
Once the Raytrace preview (marked red), is selected, the lights and shadows can be represented. Once the export button is pressed Photoshop will output the .makerbot file. As part of the preview and export, Photoshop is actually creating the supports as well as the slice file, ready for the printer processing.
Related Posts

UK 3D Print Show with Adobe

The London leg of the 3D Print show is almost upon us again. The show will be running from September 4th to 6th at Old Billingsgate, London.

Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 10.40.30

This time Adobe are taking the centre stage and sponsoring the show with Stratasys. If you are interested in learning more about how Adobe is able to improve the 3D Printing pipeline then this is defiantly a show to come to. We will be there with a stand and will have some speakers talking about Adobe 3D Print capabilities, as well as how our customers are using 3D Printing from Photoshop to radically enhance their workflow and making 3D printing much easier than it has been in the past.

Adobe people will be there for your to talk to and answer any questions that you may have, also Adobe’s Winston Hendrickson (VP for Adobe Digital Imaging), will be talking about creativity and Pete Faclo (lead 3D Printing engineer), will be talking about preparing models for print with Photoshop. The UK will be there and i’ll be talking about customer case studies, as well as some other Photoshop 3D printing talks in the booth.

Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 10.39.43

Why not come down and see what’s going on with 3D printing in general and see what these makers and manufacturers are up to.


#CreativeFriday – Long exposure on video in Photoshop

In photography there is sometimes a need to make moving objects look all creamy and smooth. This is typical used for anything with water, like waterfalls, the sea, as well as people moving in a crowd for example, and there any many more scenarios where this technique can be used. And it can look very effective.

To do this we would need to slow down or restrict the amount of light coming into the lens, and at about 1/4 second is where this effect will start to occur.

Below are a couple of my images where I have used this effect to create calm and also a blurry effect of the clouds in the sky.

L1004661 as Smart Object-1





(More of my work can be found at

To achieve this, especially in the day light we will make use of a filter. The filters will reduce the light by darkening down the scene by using stops. Such a filter is the 10 stop filter (the Lee Big stopper or Little Stopper being suitable candidates, however there are many similar ones on the market). You will also need a solid base, like a tripod to keep the camera still during the exposure.

For those that are not familiar with these types of filter, a big stopper filter looks like the following, and is placed in front of the lens. The Lee system required a bracket as the filters are lens independent, you can also get filters that screw on to the front of your lens.

Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 09.23.37


and courtesy of Lee Filters, there is a time conversion chart when using either the Big or Little Stopper.

Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 09.25.13

In Photography it’s pretty simple to get the effect. However, in video it’s not so easy. This is primarily because there isn’t the luxury of long exposures. Video is based on 25 or more frames per second and each frame lasts for 1/the frame rate. However, in the magical world of post production, there is quite a simple way of making this effect occur on video.


Take a look at this video that I shot in Iceland last year.


Here is the video with the long exposure applied


when you examine the video everything that was still will stay still and everything that moves will generate a blurred or long exposure effect (the same as in photography).
This effect was achieved by using the video timeline in Photoshop or Photoshop CC.
1. First of all you will need to open a video into Photoshop
You can also assemble video clips in Photoshop as well, or you may have used Premiere Pro to do this. In Photoshop, once the time line is open, you can click on the + icon to add more clips (marked in Red for video and yellow for audio).
2. You will need to turn the sound off from the track(s). You can do this by applying a right click to the timeline(marked in red below), then choosing the audio tab on the dialog that is displayed (marked in yellow), then turning the “mute audio” on (marked in pink).
Once you have the clip(s) loaded into Photoshop, you can then either trim them by dragging either the start or the end of each clip, or by applying the scissors at the play head.
3. If you are using multiple clips then you can convert the whole set of clips to a Smart Object (this will make the management of the next steps much easer). If there is just one clip then you have the choice of keeping as it is, or converting to the smart object. N.B by converting to a Smart Object you won’t be able to slow the motion down at the track level (this can be used this for creative effect for each track in the sequence, especially if 25fps is too fast).
To convert the clips to a Smart Object, select the clips that you would like to include, then right click on the layers (marked Red) or use the Layers panel flyout menu to select the ‘Convert to Smart Object” marked in pink.
The result will be a single layer (marked in red below), however, at any time you can double click on the Smart Object layer and edit the individual clips.
The next step is to create the long exposure,
1. Move the Smart Object layer outside of the Video Group by dragging the layer above the video group layer (marked Red)
2. Change the opacity of the Smart Object layer to be 10% (marked Orange)
3. Create a new layer beneath it that contains just black (marked Yellow). Make sure that the black layer is the same duration as the clip . You can do this by dragging the corresponding video layer within the timeline (marked yellow), then, if need by, adjusting the duration of the clip by dragging the end of the clip (marked blue).
Why do we need to do this? Essentially we will be duplicating the video clip 25 times more and each one will have a 10% opacity, which means the transparent background will show though, which will affect the playback. The black layer will give the opaque layers a background.
4. Duplicate the Smart object 25 times.
5. using the  zoom in/out buttons (marked in red), zoom into the time line (the right hand side button). Zoom to the frame level (all of the way). The zoom will use the location of the playhead, so keep the playhead at the start of the time line.
6. Select all of the layers, except the first one and move them by one frame (see below).
Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 10.35.07
7. Using the CMD (mac) / or CTRL (pc) key, deselect the top most layer of the recently moved set (in the example above number 44), then advance the group by one more frame. Repeat this until all 25 frames have been moved by one frame each (see below).
Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 10.38.22
8. If you want to add some audio to the video, you can by selecting the audio track (marked in red) and adding an audio clip (marked in yellow). Remember we have turned off the audio for each track as 25 clips will create a noise, not music.
9. Export the video out of Photoshop using  File / Export
Then play the resulting video.
There are many variables on this process that can be changed and worth experimenting with. I.e. the opacity of the layers and the frame duration (1frame). Feel free to experiment with different types of clips as well, not just water, but people moving in a city.
I would like to thank Gavin Hoey (@Gavin_Hoey) for support during the making of this post, he was the one that made it all happen and worked out the final details. You can find more of Gavin’s work and tutorials here.